Sometimes all you need is a taste, a few bars of music, a few lines of lyrics. With that in mind, R. Kelly and Usher have released previews for their upcoming albums Write Me Back and Looking 4 Myself, respectively. The two R&B mainstays who recorded the 2009 hit song, “Same Girl,” are betting they can hook fans with 30 second snippets of their songs.

For Kelly, Write Me Back , due June 26, represents another conceptual work in the mode of critically praised 2006 set the Love Letter.

Back in April, the masked singer dropped the video for “Share My Love,” the first single off the album. The clip–complete with women partying in lingerie, short dresses, and furs– was directed by Director X and shot in Chicago. Based on his album preview, there are plenty of nods to past musical eras such as early Motown, 70’s soul, and Kelly’s own brand of playful R&B.

Check out snippets from R. Kelly’s Write Me Back here.

Usher’s Looking 4 Myself, out June 8, finds the singer continuing his merging of the pop and R&B worlds with uptempo tracks aimed for the clubs as well as sparse, new age ballads exemplified by its lead single “Climax.”

Back in February, he explained that “Climax” was not about what some fans suspected. “It is about an out-of-control experience,” he told V-103/Atlanta. “[And] a person [has] kind of reached the peak of that experience.”

The singer has also revealed the source of his worldly influences on his new album.

“For me, this has been kind of a journey, an opportunity to articulate myself through music and allow people to be a part of what my experiences have been,” Usher explained to AMP/Los Angeles. “I’ve traveled around the world. I’ve had different experiences. I’ve listened to music. Be mindful of what everybody in different regions are listening to, but don’t lose the essence of who I am as an artist.”

-Keith Murphy, CBS Local


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